Wright's Aerials

Aerial Photography - DIY Gallery

Now we come to a bizarre phenomenon of our times which is spreading like wildfire across the UK. These are just a few of the examples I have seen myself or have been sent. The thing under these aerials that is shaped like bike handlebars is called a ‘cradle’ or ‘support arm’. The mast should be fixed to the approximate midpoint of the cradle, and the aerial fixed to the cradle. If the boom has a join in the cradle should straddle it. This gives a strong, secure, and balanced mounting. The force of the wind has far less twisting effect on the mast than if the aerial is end mounted. For some mysterious reason an awful lot of DIY installers are end-mounting the aerial and pointlessly fitting the cradle as well.

The instructions for the aerials bought by DIYers can be misleading, as can the catalogue illustrations. At the time of writing the Argos website shows the 'Gold High Gain Outdoor Aerial' mounted this way. The sheer number of these installations makes me realise just how many aerials are sold to DIYers. What a pity that all the aerials are wideband when in many cases a grouped one is the correct choice, and that so many of these quite large and ugly things are going up in places where a small ten element array would work as well or better.

People obviously don’t realise that the cost of all the bits and pieces at the DIY shed can approach the ‘supply and install’ price of a good local aerial installer.

The chimney bracket dates from the 405 line days.

I saw this from the street in Hexham, nipped round the back and up the fire escape and got this shot. The cradle doesn’t even straddle the join in the boom. Two cables have been jammed into the junction box, and the top reflector has fallen off.

Why do DIYers always bend at least one element?

Yes, the sky really was this dark! This aerial was fitted by the bricklayers who were building a new house next to where I was working. I watched them do it. I took a pic of the aerial but then when I went back a few days later there was this dramatic sky, so I took the shot that you see. You can’t see it clearly on this shot, but the mast is almost touching the ridge tile, and will surely tap when the wind blows.

The Group CD ten-element aerial at the top is upside down, so the junction box and cable will have filled with water. That’s probably why the owner went off to the DIY shed and bought a wideband monstrosity. The chimney bracket is fixed to the masonry with screws rather than a lashing kit, and there’s a little log periodic at the bottom of the mast. The location has clear line of sight to Pontop Pike.

Thanks to Keith Barber of KB Aerials (Sheffield) for this shot.

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